Ultracapacitors also enable automotive manufacturers to answer safety and performance critiques by reliably completing a million or more charge-discharge cycles in all weather conditions, without having to be replaced. Hybridized energy storage and power delivery solutions with both ultracapacitors and batteries enhance the performance of hybrid and electric vehicles by meeting the electrical power demands of acceleration, power steering, electrical systems, and starter systems, and they play a significant role in start-stop and regenerative braking systems solutions.
Ultracapacitors can absorb and store essentially all the kinetic energy from a braking system. Their efficiency and power capability add up to more efficient recapture of braking energy. This energy is then available to help in acceleration to decrease fuel consumption and associated emissions.
In full hybrid or electric vehicles, ultracapacitors can lessen battery drain and prolong battery life. This regenerative braking solution takes most of the load off mechanical brakes, reducing brake maintenance and replacement expenses. Ultracapacitors can also complement batteries in start-stop applications, which enable the engine in a conventional, electric, or hybrid-electric vehicle to shut down when it comes to a stop at a red light or when sitting in traffic. Ultracapacitors then provide a short burst of energy that restarts the motor.
With 100-percent reliability at temperatures from -40C to 65C, low lifecycle cost, and the ability to capture energy from regenerative braking, ultracapacitors provide a cost-effective energy solution to complement batteries and reduce fossil fuel dependency, significantly improve fuel economy over gasoline-only powered vehicles, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Jeremy Cowperthwaite is the vice president of ultracapacitor engineering at Maxwell